Record success at 10th Annual Celebrity Bagging Event

ABINGDON, VA (November 23, 2016) – United Way teamed up with Food City to host the tenth annual Celebrity Bagging Event on Tuesday in support of their annual fundraising campaign. According to preliminary reports, the event raised over $27,000 combined, making this by far the largest year on record for the event.

The event included Food City locations in Johnson City, Bristol, Jonesborough, Gray, Elizabethton, Piney Flats, Blountville, Hixson, and Chattanooga, TN; Bristol, Abingdon, Marion, Chilhowie, Galax, Independence, Richlands, Lebanon, and Wise, VA and Fort Oglethorpe, GA and took place on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Local celebrities from throughout the region volunteered their time and talents to bag groceries at the participating Food City locations.  Shoppers made contributions to the United Way through tips for the celebrity baggers at the checkouts – gathered in collection containers or added to their grocery total.

Steve Smith, President and CEO of Food City, said during the event, “We’ve always been active with United Way. We want to call attention to them and what a great job they do. We like to have some volunteers come in – some folks from the community – to bag groceries for an hour or two. We’ll have politicians, we’ll have business leaders, we’ll have police officers, and community advocates, and we just have a lot of fun. They get to meet their friends and neighbors, but most of all, raise a lot of money to support United Way. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to United Way that are raised here today, and we’re just proud to be a part of the community.”

Money raised during the event goes to area United Way campaigns.  The United Way allocates resources to community initiatives and to member agencies that address the most pressing human service needs, honing in on education, health, and financial stability.

Participating Food City locations are listed below. Southwest Virginia totals are listed in parenthesis.

249 – 531 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
601 – 2120 S. Roan St., Johnson City, TN
617 – 1430 Volunteer Parkway, Bristol, TN
622 – 1317 Virginia Avenue, Hwy. 421, Bristol, TN
629 – 920 North State of Franklin Rd., Johnson City, TN
631 – 920 Broad St., Village Shopping Center, Elizabethton, TN
640 – 500 Forest Drive, Jonesborough, TN
641 – 4307 North Roan Street, Carroll Creek Crossing, Johnson City, TN
669 – 1921 Highway 394, Blountville, TN
670 – 125 Judge Gresham Rd., Gray, TN
699 – 6681 Bristol Highway, Piney Flats, TN
703 – 5604 Hixson Pike, Hixson, TN 37343
716 – 3801 Tennessee Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37409
816 – 100 Bonham Road, Lee Highway, P.O. Box 16219, Bristol, VA
821 – 1320 Euclid Avenue, Euclid Avenue Shopping Center, Bristol, VA
823 – 396 Towne Centre Drive, Town Centre Shopping Ctr., Abingdon, VA  (over $1400)
827 – 1135 Claypool Hill Mall Road, Cedar Bluff, VA  (over $900)
848 – 910 N. Main St., Pkwy. Shopping Center, Marion, VA  (over $350)
849 – 145 W. Lee Hwy., Chilhowie, VA  (Over $500)
865 – 955-A East Stuart Drive, Galax, VA (Over $1800)
866 – 568 East Main St. Independence, VA  (Over $3000)
890 – 159 Pittston Road, P.O. Box 1988, Lebanon, VA  (Over $350)
898 – 207 Woodland Dr. SW, Wise, VA  (Over $1200)

United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia by forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources, and inspiring individuals to create lasting change in the lives of over 350,000 residents from all walks of life. United Way of Southwest Virginia mobilizes thousands of people to give, advocate and volunteer across 5,860 square miles (approximately 15% of the state of Virginia) in the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, and Wise, and the cities of Galax and Norton. For more information about United Way of Southwest Virginia, visit

Familiar faces bag groceries at the annual Celebrity Bagging Event, where volunteer celebrities – community leaders, police officers, athletes, and other well-known individuals – bag groceries at Food City locations across the region and collect tips to benefit local United Ways. Shoppers make contributions to United Way via collection containers or have their contribution added to their grocery total. The event began in 2007 and occurs each year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at Food City locations across Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee, and Northern Georgia.

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.8 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide, and more than $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit